I went for a five-mile run yesterday to end 2013. Because I hadn’t run much in about nine months, I was determined to get a decent run in. I have surely missed my running life. It wasn’t a terrible run, but it was difficult. My stomach didn’t feel great, my right knee (the one I had surgery on) hurt a little, and my endurance has not yet returned because I simply haven’t run enough. At four miles my left knee began to hurt, and I recognized the symptoms. I had that same tightness behind my knee that I had when my right knee began to bother me. I had to stop and walk at about 4.5 miles, and then hobbled through to be certain I ‘ran’ five miles.
When things got really tough and I became frustrated, I thought about two young people from our community, Sarah and Jacob, who were both involved in accidents in November, and both are relearning to walk. I thought about how difficult it must be for those two athletes to start all over learning to do what they had done for years. They have both worked so diligently, and have faced so many obstacles. I cannot begin to imagine the range of emotions they have gone through. And so I pushed on and ran.
I also have two friends who are currently battling breast cancer, Larky and Pam. As I struggled along, I thought about their battles, and the fear and frustration they must feel. I thought about their positive attitudes and the strength they’ve shown. And my pain seemed mild.
I finished that run, and though the realization hit me that I will probably never run another half marathon, I was grateful for those few miles. I so enjoy being out in the fresh air, having undisturbed time, and feeling strong as I run along in solitude.
I decided to go for a run again today. I had ended 2013 with a run, and I wanted to begin 2014 the same way. The very first step brought pain in my surgery knee, but it was tolerable. I hadn’t run up Mozart Hill since March, and that was today’s goal. I had decided that even if I had to walk, I was going to make the attempt. I ran up that monster of a hill, and I did not walk. As I rounded the corner at the top, I felt that sense of exhilaration that comes with running.
And then I hit the two-mile mark, and the pain in my left knee hit. I hobbled a little further, while a thousand thoughts swam through my head. Why? With our new insurance, I can’t even afford to go to the ortho. My surgery knee isn’t perfect, so I wouldn’t go through another surgery anyway. Why can older people run with no knee issues, and I can’t? I am going to have to stop running. What the hell will I do? When will I see my friends? I run with my friends. That is what we all do, and I won’t be a part of that any longer. Crap. I walked for a couple of blocks, and then ran again so I could at least get three miles in. I was so angry when I finished. I have fought my right knee for a year now, I didn’t complete one race in 2013, and had looked forward to a decent return to running in 2014, but it seems that isn’t to be.
I truly feel that I am going continue to have problems, and though I don’t want to give up running, I might find myself with no choice. And that sucks. I wish there were alternatives that appealed to me, but right now, there aren’t any. Gary has talked about getting more into biking, but thus far, I have no interest. It takes so long to burn the number of calories I can burn running. I enjoy my Tabata Bootcamp, but I need cardio, too. Zumba is a blast, but honestly, it’s taking a toll on my knees. I guess this saga will continue, and I will work to find what will work with my body. I will also whine. A lot.
Here we go, 2014! Please be kind to me!